Austral by Catherine Faulds

Austral
Do not expect a rescue service

Cold invades the bones.
The ice in my gin is millennia old,
netted as it reached the sea’s surface.
It sits on the bar, clear as a mirror,
to be chipped into drinks
while the ship dances with ice floes in the channels.

Day and night, separated
only by gradations of light,
make sleep a conscious act
timetabled from the darker world;
I float among seals whose home is the sea
fly with birds who sleep in the sky
wake at the edge of the planet.

A mass of icebergs on the horizon:
as they calve, their offspring melt
into mythic forms – dragons, sphinxes, gryphons,
pleated like whaleskin.

While snoozing seals turn and sigh,
penguins marshall in waddling armies.
and at the edge of the black beach circling a crater
the sea is hot

Austral by Catherine Faulds was highly commended in the Sentinel Annual Poetry Competition 2015 judged by Afam Akeh

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